Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would prefer a new election to ruling with a minority after talks on forming a three-way coalition failed, but Germany's president told parties they owed it to voters to try to form a government. Scarlett Cvitanovich reports.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel would prefer a new election to ruling with a minority, saying she would be very skeptical and returning to the polls would be a better path. Three-way coalition talks have broken down in Europe's largest economy and plunged it into a political crisis. Despite that Merkel isn't shying away from an election re-run (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "Look, if new elections are called, or were to be called, I should say, then it wouldn't be what the voters asked from us but then we would accept it and I do not fear anything to be honest." Merkel's conservative CDU has spent four weeks trying to work out how to share power with the Free Democrats or FDP - and the Greens. That after her previous Social Democrat coalition partners ruled out continuing in government after big election losses. On Sunday (November 19) the FDP called time on the discussions - citing irreconcilable differences. Merkel says the major obstacle to a three-way deal was immigration. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier waded into the debate on Monday (November 20) pressing all parties in parliament to try to form a government. His intervention suggests he regards a new election as a last resort. A poll published on RTL television on Monday showed a fresh vote would bring roughly the same result as September's, with the Greens set to see the biggest gains. Germany's inability to form a government has sent shockwaves through Europe. French president Emmanuel Macron is relying on support from Berlin for his euro zone reforms and it's raised questions over whether a political impasse could complicate and potentially delay Brexit negotiations.